We are reputed to be the oldest Department of Industrial Psychology in the country. The first course in Industrial Psychology was presented in 1943 under the auspices of the Department of Psychology. By 1949 it was offered up to the third year level. Prof PA Theron of the Department of Psychology was the lecturer responsible. In 1963 Industrial Psychology was established as a department within the Commerce Faculty (at present the Faculty for Economic and Management Sciences) with Prof IJ van Biljon, who up to that stage was attached to the Department of Psychology, as its first departmental head. From 1966 the department was housed in a rather picturesque little building (it used to be the Stellenbosch Hospital) situated opposite the Van der Sterr building. The building was demolished in the seventies and the Schumann building was erected in its place. In 1971 the Department of Industrial Psychology moved to what used to be the Faculty of Education building. During the course of 2012 to 2013 the Department evacuated the building (now known as the Industrial Psychology building) and temporarily occupied the old facilities management building while the building was refurbished. During the course of July 2013 the Department moved back into the building which was now called the Mathematical Sciences and Industrial Psychology building.
Prof IJ van Biljon, who later became the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, was succeeded as departmental head by Prof IvW Raubenheimer (who later became Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences at the Rand Afrikaans University). Prof AJ van Wyk (later the Chief Director, Human Resources, University of Stellenbosch, Prof LC de Jager, Prof JCD Augustyn, Prof D Tromp (formerly Chief Director of the Graduate School of Business), University of Stellenbosch, Prof AS Engelbrecht, Dr WS de Villiers, and the current Chair, Prof D.J. Malan (former Dean of the Faculty of Military Science).
Undergraduate students may now enrol for three different programmes: BCom (with focus area Human Resource Management), BA (Human Resource Management) or BCom (Industrial Psychology). At postgraduate level we offer an honours and master's programme in Industrial Psychology and an honours and master's programme in Human Resource Management. It is also possible to enrol for a full thesis option in the Human Resource Management master's programme. All our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are accredited by the SABPP and our Industrial Psychology master's programme is accredited for the purposes of the training and registration of Industrial Psychologists. We also have an accredited BPsych Equivalence Programme for the training of psychometrists in independent practice which follows on our HonsBCom (Industrial Psychology) programme.